An interview with Miguel Angel Jimenez
September 14, 2004
JULIUS MASON: Miguel Angel Jimenez, ladies and gentlemen, joining us at Oakland Hills for the 35th Ryder Cup Matches. Welcome. Some opening thoughts and we'll go to Q&A, please.
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah, I played the golf course this morning and I think the golf course is in great condition. It's my first time to play here and it's very good, I think.
JULIUS MASON: Questions, ladies and gentlemen.
Q. Miguel, Sergio was saying a couple of weeks ago that he thought it was a good idea for you to take a rest last week. Do you have any regrets of playing or do you feel once you're in good form it's worth continuing?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I think that I don't want to rest myself just the week before the Ryder Cup, you know, because if I want to rest, I really rest. I don't do anything. I decide to play last week and just warm up before the round, hit 18 holes, a few putts and that was all. I think that's the best thing for what I'm doing.
Q. You've had obviously a very good year, what do you put that down to, is it experience or fitness?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Well, I played very well. I've hit the ball well and I enjoy myself on the golf course, that's what you need to do to shoot low scores. I've won four tournaments and I enjoy myself on the golf course, that's the basic thing. There's not much different in the game really.
Q. You keep itself vague and ambiguous, no coaches or psychologists, just the caddie and yourself?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Now I've got a nice caddie on my bag now and that obviously helps a lot. It's not anything better than you're hitting well. I don't think I've ever used those things and I'm not going to use those things now. I'm 40 and I think it's enough.
Q. You've got some good memories of the Ryder Cup, a hole-in-one at one point?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: No, not myself. I have a nice memory from '99 when I played the Ryder Cup in Brookline and I enjoyed myself very much and I hope I can enjoy here.
Q. You say you enjoyed Brookline.
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I enjoy always playing golf and I enjoyed myself there, of course. I like the pressure and I like all of the feelings that you get in the matches. I play golf because I enjoy myself playing golf, you know. I enjoy it very much when you have the pressure and all of the feelings there. It's what I feel to compete, I love competition, I love the match, the atmosphere and everything?
Q. The sport is generally a contest of individual achievement and every so often an elite group get to play for more than just prize money or personal reasons, but for national pride as well. Talk about your thoughts on that, on playing for something other than prize money or for individual accomplishment, on playing for your country.
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Well, when you play this, probably it's getting a little bit more for you probably, no. When you play for yourself, sometimes you play and you hit a bad shot or you miss a cut, okay, well, next week is another week. You cannot say that here the same thing. You're playing not only for yourself but for the team. The possibilities are more high and the pressure also. Everything is huge. I enjoy it anyway, I love to feel everything.
Q. How much of an honor is that, to be able to have that opportunity?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Well, to me it's a great honor. I don't know how to explain, you know, but to be here, I'm defending Europe in these matches, it's maximo.
Q. I believe you had some special requests for the team room, Rioja wine, cigars, an espresso machine, is that true?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Espresso machine.
Q. Can you explain why you wanted those thing?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Because I always like to feel home. That's what makes you happy, you know. Rioja wine, espresso machines, cigars, perfect.
Q. Do you miss home when you're here?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: A little bit, yes. I always miss Spain.
Q. Who smokes the better cigars, you or Darren?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Well, we are both in the same mood I think. We like the same ones, Cubans, of course.
Q. Seve and Jose Maria have been two of the most successful Ryder Cup pairings. Do you expect to be teamed up with Sergio because he's one of your fellow countryman, and how well do you know his game?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I know Sergio well. He's now five years or six years on the Tour. I played with him one World Cup, but I don't know, it's up to the decision to the captain to put us together or not, because he would make a good pairing with some other players, also. Probably he might enjoy more with the young guys, but I don't know what exactly the captain is going to do. I would love to play with him or any one of my teammates. I could play with him or with anybody, you know. It would be nice if I play with him, it would be very nice. We would enjoy it and have fun on the golf course. He's a great player and he's 24 I think now. He's going to play lots of Ryder Cups, like Seve Ballesteros.
Talking about myself, I'm 40, so I don't know how many more I'm going to play.
JULIUS MASON: Questions, questions twice? Miguel Angel Jimenez.
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